Your life can be significantly affected by hearing loss, in a way that goes beyond the inability to hear. Having difficulty executing daily activities, and strained relationships are some examples of the overall effect of loss of hearing.
A survey conducted by AARP found that untreated hearing loss had a greater impact on quality of life than:
There are lots of people who don’t get help with their hearing loss in spite of the fact that it negatively impacts their lives. Researchers have found that many people experiencing hearing loss are still anxious about a perceived stigma attached to it. People are concerned they will be treated differently if others know they are suffering from hearing loss. This perception can change how they see themselves whether they are young or old.
Your Not The Only One
These days, people are living longer, so there are more individuals out there with hearing loss, too, even though it doesn’t only affect older people. The World Health Organization reports that there are more than 1.1 billion people, many of them young adults, at risk of hearing loss and the perceived perception that comes with it. Hearing loss is, in fact, one of a young adult’s most significant health threats. The reluctance to get help persists even while the number of people with hearing loss grows. How does this affect one’s overall health?
How Is Hearing Loss Viewed?
The story is pretty much illustrated by the actual definition of stigma, which is a brand that labels a person as inferior. Lots of people who suffer from hearing loss are worried they will look older than they are, less healthy, or less able.
Historically, there is some foundation for this worry. A 2010 study revealed people were not as well accepted when they suffered from hearing loss. But the data from this study is nearly 10 years old. This perception is changing as hearing loss is becoming more commonplace. Celebrities visibly wear hearing aids and the devices are becoming more cutting edge, stylish, and fun. Also helping to change hearts and minds, research reveals that getting treatment may delay or prevent other health problems linked to aging like cognitive decline and dementia. Some people still don’t get help despite this research.
What Difference Does it Make?
Don’t let your anxiety about negative perception stop you from seeking treatment or you may suffer permanent health consequences. An AARP survey revealed that more people consent to getting colonoscopies than hearing tests. Not acknowledging your hearing loss, not getting a hearing examination and seeking treatment will take a physical toll, especially over time.
Consequences of Undiagnosed or Untreated Hearing Loss
Not taking care of your hearing loss can have the following health repercussions;
Everything in life is more tiring if you are struggling to hear. It becomes a difficult task to try and hear conversations and common sounds. Because you can’t hear oncoming traffic or a person coming up behind you, you have to put more effort into staying safe too. All the additional work you put into daily tasks can lead to chronic fatigue.
You can get headaches and migraines if you have too much anxiety and stress. Studies have shown a link, though you may not have recognized there was a connection, between certain forms of hearing loss and migraines. Even if you don’t normally get migraines, your brain has to compensate for what you can’t hear, and that constant struggle can make your head hurt.
Anxiety and depression are some mental health problems you could also face as a consequence of untreated hearing loss. Hearing loss can lead to dementia and often causes social isolation. Moodiness and reduced energy levels go along with these other challenges.
It is Possible to Overcome The Negative Perception of Hearing Loss
Taking the first step and get help if you want to conquer these negative perceptions. Hearing loss is treatable. Accept that you are the one that suffers if you won’t get that treatment.
Not all loss of hearing is permanent, either, so you could be stressing out for no reason. You won’t know what the issue is unless you make an appointment to get a hearing exam. It could be as simple as earwax buildup.
Knowing you have hearing loss is not enough, you need to do something about it. Nowadays you can get hearing aids in many shapes and sizes. More inconspicuous styles are available if you are concerned about people knowing you have hearing loss.
Above all, prove them wrong. You can be just as active and healthy as anyone, so wear your hearing aids with confidence. Everyone who suffers from hearing loss will also be benefited by your actions. Negative perceptions are social poisons so stay strong and raise awareness to change them.
Hearing loss is not a personal weakness it’s a medical condition. So see a hearing professional for a hearing exam right away.